The Spastics Society of Tamilnadu (SPASTN)

Empowering & Inspirational Journeys

The Week I Interned At CUMI

I am RUKMANI NATH.  Just sharing my experience and an eventful opportunity I got as an Intern in CUMI.  I started out in a special school when I was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia.  Soon I moved to a normal school called the Manuel Matriculation school Tiruvanmiyur, Chennai.  I returned to my special school for therapy only. Today I am doing multimedia 3rd year from Annamalai University.

This is a brief documentation of my experience at CUMI (Carborundum Universal Limited), a wing of the Murugappa Group of Companies, here in Chennai. When I decided to attend the job fair hosted by The Spastic Society of Tamil Nadu, conducted for differently abled personnel, I had no idea about the roller coaster ride that was waiting for me. When CUMI offered me an opportunity to intern at their company, my joy knew no bounds and I was thoroughly excited about my first corporate experience.

On the day of my initiation (24 Sept 2014), I had butterflies in my tummy, and no words can express the excitement I felt as I entered the corporate office, not as a visitor but as an intern. Let me be honest here, it is never easy for differently abled people in this world. And it is precisely for that reason that I was filled with glee, knowing that my parents were proud of me and that I got here through my hard work and dedication. I want this document to serve as a reminder to everyone out there, that anyone can do anything in this world, if you put your mind to it.

What I Did

I was with CUMI for seven working days and here’s what I did during my short time there

Day 1

The first day was the most memorable one. As I said, I was tensed, nervous, and excited at the same time. It was a weird feeling and I loved every moment of it. On my first day, I was given an assignment to create an advertisement for a product which would be displayed as a banner on the company’s bus.

Even though everyone was nice to me, and genuinely so, I knew that there was this air of “what could she possibly do” hanging in the air. I was determined to throw them out the window on my first day there. And that is exactly what I did.

The advertisement that I created was well received. I was so happy because this was the first professional work that I did and it was a great success.


Day 2

The banners that I made received such good appreciation that CUMI decided to let me make a pamphlet. The in-house designers there taught me special design techniques that I had not learn in my institute. It was quite marvelous.

By the second day, I had made a few friends and I was surprised (partly because I had not mingled with actual working people before) to find that they were really nice. None of them made me feel different or unwelcome in anyway and trust me, my confidence level was off the charts.

My friends showed me around and took me to the food court. I had heard that the food was free, and hence I did not expect much, but boy, was I wrong. The food was exquisite and lunch time soon became a lot more enjoyable.

Day 3

On the third day, it was the foundation day celebrations of CUMI. Now it goes without saying but, I’m not a fan of social functions. When I heard that there was a dress code, I was even less enthusiastic. CUMI surprised me again, when they went out of their way to find a shirt in my size to make sure that I was a part of their celebrations.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been to plenty of functions at my school, but this was different because I was with a crowd that I had never been with before, and I literally knew them for just two days. There are my thoughts as I think of them now, but on that day, I felt like I had been working with them for a long time, and it was a wonderful feeling.

 

I addition to all the festivities, this day was the day I was recognized the most. I was asked to design a certificate for their event, and after I was done with, their in-house designer took a look at my work. I am pleased to say that he was genuinely impressed, so much that he actually took the initiative to seek out the managers and present my designs to them. It was yet another wonderful day.

Day 4 and 5

By now I felt like I was a full time employee at CUMI and I was tasked with more important work like designing a logo for a new team they were building. It took a lot of work, but by the end I had three models ready, and they were sent for approval. That was a job well done in my books.

 

 

Day 6 and 7

I was involved in designing a monthly magazine that went into circulation within the company. I learnt many new tips and trick from experienced, professional designers at CUMI during this time.

My Personal Take on the CUMI Experience

First and foremost, I want to thank my parents without whose support and motivation I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I cannot thank my institution enough for showing me what I was actually capable of, and showing me that I can do what I want, if I put my mind to it. I cannot forget Smt. Jayashree, the Director of Spastic Society of Tamil Nadu, for her sincere efforts into making sure that everything went well. I would also like to let you know that CUMI is a wonderful place to work, and this coming from me, is really something. The people were nice, considerate but not pretentious or didn’t go overboard by being too nice. They saw me as an equal and that is all I have ever wanted.

Professionally I do not have the experience to judge quality of work, however, as a fresher I can say that my experience was every bit as wonderful as I was hoping for and more. I got to meet some amazing people, learnt a lot more things than I did from the designing institute by being in a production environment.I was able to work on actual projects that tested everything I had learnt and boosted my confidence in myself.

To you, who are reading this document I have only one thing to say:

Believe in yourself and if you do, the sky is the limit.

Rukmini Nath,

B.Sc (Multimedia)